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Postgraduate Study in Mathematics


The Faculty of Mathematics offers three doctoral (PhD) and one MPhil research programmes.

Select a course below to visit the University’s Course Directory where you can read about the structure of the programmes, fees and maintenance costs, entry requirements and key deadlines.

Programme Duration Department
PhD in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics 3-4 years DAMTP
PhD in Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics 3-4 years DPMMS
PhD in Mathematics of Information 4 years; with a structured first year DAMTP and DPMMS
MPhil in Mathematics (by thesis)

12 months full-time, or 2 years part-time


Research Areas and Potential Supervisors

Determining whether your interests and ambitions align with our research and expertise is a vital part of the application and admissions process. When we receive your formal application, we will consider the information you provide on your research interests carefully, alongside other factors such as your academic suitability and potential, how you compare to other applicants in the field, and whether we have a suitable academic supervisor with the capacity to take on new students.

We are committed to widening participation in mathematical research at Cambridge. We welcome and encourage applications from people from groups underrepresented in postgraduate study.

Before making an application to study with us we recommend you:

  1. Investigate our areas of research and consider how they fit with your interests and ambitions.

A list of broad research areas is provided below, together with links to further information. Your interests may span more than one area. On your application form you will be asked to indicate at least one broad area of interest. This is to help us direct your application to the most suitable group of people to review it.

  1. Identify 2 or 3 appropriate supervisor(s) with whom you might work.

The information linked below will take you to lists of supervisors working in each broad research area, with an indication of their availability. You are encouraged to make informal contact with potential supervisors prior to making an application. Initial contact should be made by email. In your email we recommend you provide a concise explanation of your areas of interest, how your research interests align with the supervisor(s) research, and that you highlight any relevant work you have done in this area. We recommend that you attach an up-to-date CV. The purpose of this contact is to enquire on supervisor capacity and willingness to supervise, and to see if there is a good fit between your interests and theirs.

If you haven’t had a response to an informal enquiry, you are still welcome to apply and list the individual concerned on your application form, although you may also wish to consider other options.

  1. Give some thought to your intended research and why you want to study with us.

On your application form you will be asked to submit a short research summary, details of your research experience and your reasons for applying to undertake a PhD/MPhil with us. Whilst you are not expected to submit a detailed research proposal at any stage of the process, we do want to know that you have considered the areas of research that you wish to pursue.

Research areas

Click on a research area to find out more about available supervisors and their research:

Applied and Computational Analysis Algebra
Astrophysics Algebraic Geometry
Fluid Mechanics, Geophysics, Biophysics and Soft Matter Analysis and Partial Differential Equations
Machine Learning (fundamentals and applications to healthcare) Combinatorics
Quantum Information Differential Geometry and Topology
Mathematical Biology Foundations
High Energy Physics Information and Finance
General Relativity and Cosmology

Number Theory


Please note that a large majority of the successful applicants for PhD studentships with the High Energy Physics, and General Relativity & Cosmology (GR) groups will have taken Part III of the Mathematical Tripos.

Funding Opportunities

Each Department works hard to secure funding for as many offer holders as possible, either from within its own funds, in collaboration with funding partners, or via the University Postgraduate Funding Competition. However, funding is not guaranteed via these routes, and you should investigate funding opportunities early in the process to be sure that you can meet advertised deadlines.

Cambridge Funding Search [Funding opportunities across the University and Colleges]
Postgraduate Funding Competition [Includes Gates Cambridge and Cambridge Trusts]
The following opportunity is for MPhil applicants only:
Martingale Scholarships
The following opportunities are for doctoral applicants only:
STFC DTP [HEP, GR and Cosmology]
STFC CDT in Data Intensive Science
C-CLEAR NERC DTP : Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics, Theoretical Geophysics, and certain areas of Fluid and Continuum Mechanics [DAMTP project list]
EPSRC Heilbronn Doctoral Partnership [via DPMMS]
Biosciences including mathematical biology [BBSRC DTP]
Machine Learning and AI [Van der Schaar Lab]
The Alan Turing Institute
MRC Biostatistics Unit PhD Programme


All application deadlines are 23:59pm (midnight) UK time on the stated date. So that your application can be given full consideration please apply by the following deadlines:

11 October 2023 Gates Cambridge Scholars (US citizens only)
15 December 2023 High Energy Physics, and General Relativity and Cosmology groups (for doctoral applicants only)
4 January 2024

All other applications for admission in October, including Gates for non-US citizens.

This is our funding deadline. Applications received by this date will be considered for nomination to the University’s Postgraduate Funding Competition.

Note for PhD applicants:

We will accept applications for an October start up until the general University deadline in May, but your chances of obtaining funding are significantly reduced. In addition, space limitations may mean that late applications cannot be considered (i.e., the most appropriate supervisor may already have committed to taking other students).

Only in exceptional circumstances will we consider admission to a later start date in the academic year (i.e., January or April). If you intend to apply for a later start date please contact us at so we can advise you on the feasibility of your plan.

Note for MPhil applicants:

We will accept applications until the general University deadline in February, but you will not be considered for funding. In addition, space limitations may mean that late applications cannot be considered (i.e., the most appropriate supervisor may already have committed to taking other students).


Most interviews are expected to take place in the second half of January.

The purpose of the interview is to try to ascertain the extent of the applicant's relevant knowledge and experience, and to gauge whether their interests and abilities align with the research of the potential supervisor and/or research group. It will most likely consist of a discussion of your background and motivations for applying to the course, as well as some questions on relevant topics.

Not all applicants will be selected for interview.

If you are selected for interview, you will be contacted by email at the address you provided on your application. The email should confirm:

  • the location of the interview (it may be in-person or on-line dependent upon interviewer availability, your distance from Cambridge, as well as individual preferences),
  • the interview format and whether you should prepare anything specific in advance,
  • the approximate duration of the interview,
  • who you will be meeting.

Prior to interview you may declare a disability, serious health problem or caring responsibility which may require reasonable adjustments for the interview to be made.

Due to interviewer availability and the tight admissions timetable, we can usually only rearrange the time and date of your interview under exceptional circumstances.

Decision timeline

Both DAMTP and DPMMS make most of their PhD/MPhil admissions decisions for October entry in January and early February, and you should not expect to receive a decision on your application before mid-February (even if you apply much earlier). We expect to have made decisions on all applications by mid-July. The Department makes every effort to take decisions on applications at the earliest opportunity. In some cases, however, it may take some time for a decision to be made. Applications may need to be viewed by several potential supervisors before a final decision can be reached.

To consider your application formally we must receive a complete application form, together with all supporting documents, by the deadline.

Communication of outcomes

You will be notified of the formal outcome of your application via the Applicant Portal.

Following an interview, you can normally expect to receive notification of the outcome within a week or two.

If you are successful, the University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office will issue a formal offer of admission which will outline all your conditions. As processing times can vary, we may also contact you informally to notify you of our decision.


We do not provide formal feedback to applicants who are unsuccessful at either the application or interview stage.


Take a look at our frequently asked questions for PhD applicants.